TWO teenage sisters are making cricketing history by being the first female siblings to head off to Scotland Women’s ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers in Thailand.
Kathryn and Sarah Bryce, aged 18 and 15 respectively, are the sisterly dynamic duo in the 14-member squad.
The girls have worked hard to become the cream of the crop of Scotland’s female junior cricketers.
“I remember a letter came home one day when I was in primary 5 telling my parents that a girls’ cricket team was being started up at school,” Kathryn said.
“I really liked the team aspect of cricket and the fact that everyone got a chance to bat, bowl and field. It gave a number of different aspects to focus on.”
When she was ten, Kathryn managed to take a hat-trick for the girls’ team at school against Sedbergh, under the watchful eye of coach Liz Smith, and three years later Sarah also took up the sport.
Sarah, who attends George Watson’s College, said: “I was always down at my sister’s practices with my dad playing at the side, so I guess I was always likely to want to give cricket a go.
“It was always really good for me seeing what Kathryn was doing because I could try and follow her lead while having her in the same team as me made me feel a bit more comfortable.”
The sisters share their father’s passion for the sport, playing for fun in the back garden with dad James as children before Kathryn took cricket up at school.
And the girls even hit the headlines when they put on an amazing batting partnership for Scotland under-17s in Lincolnshire, both reaching centuries and hauling their team up to 341-1 from 45 overs.
They eventually won the match by 211 runs.
Sarah said: “We couldn’t have imagined what was going to happen that day.
“Sometimes when you’re batting, you just get into a rhythm and that seemed to happen. Kathryn helped me along the way and hopefully I helped her, too.”
Her older sister, who is currently on a gap year, added: “To both hit so many runs and celebrate together with our dad pacing the boundary made it special. Hopefully we can have more success in Thailand and beyond.”
Sarah will travel to Thailand as back-up wicketkeeper.
In Thailand, the Scots will take on China, Ireland and Zimbabwe in warm-up matches and then Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and Thailand in the group stages.
The top two from the group will progress to the semi-finals, with both finalists then qualifying for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India.
The Scots go into the event as underdogs, a position Kathryn clearly relishes.
She said: “We have had a really good build-up for the trip and the younger players like myself and Sarah are looking forward to testing ourselves at a higher level.
“It may take us a couple of days to get used to the heat, but we just cannot wait to get out there and playing.”
The girls are looking forward to even more sisterly success and hope to continue the sport well in to adulthood.